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Tuesday, 12 July 1904

Mr HENRY WILLIS - I should be very sorry to do the right honorable and learned member any injustice. I knew, however, that he was favorable to a somewhat similar provision. He was an advocate some years ago. of the admission to the bar of persons who were able to pass . a very ' ordinary examination, and he seemed to regard a thorough knowledge of the law as a secondary consideration. It seemed to me that a similar idea was embodied in the proposal now before us. If the Prime Minister will accept the amendment proposed by the honorable and learned member for Darling Downs, I shall support the provision in its amended form.

Mr Watson - In view of the important questions with which the Court will have to deal, I shall have no objection to do so.

Mr HENRY WILLIS - I share the view taken by some other honorable members, that if an officer of an organization were also a member of the legal profession, he would be fully entitled to appear before the Court on 'behalf of the organization with which he was connected, and therefore I consider that the amendment is necessary in order to enable the Judge to permit both sides to be fairly represented. It might be impossible in some cases to obtain the consent of all the parties to the employment of legal assistance. -Under the proposed new clause, one crotchety individual would be able to thwart the wishes of all the others concerned. Under the amendment, however, the Judge would be able to see that justice was done. The clause, in its amended form, would certainly not carry out the original idea of the Prime Minister, because it would restore us to the position in which we stood before. Therefore, I think it might very well be abandoned. It is desirable that every case should be fully and intelligently placed before the Court, and the parties concerned should be the best judges as to how that could be most effectively done.

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